The Australian Group and Listed Races Advisory Group conducted it's annual meeting outside Brisbane on July 3-5. It was decided there was no justification for the total number of black type races in Australia to be increased or decreased from the current 540-550 range.
The group restated it's position that it would continue to use the international pyramid system where 12% of all black type races are at group I level, 15% group II, 19% group III, and 54% are listed races.
The group wishes to utilize race classifications provided by the Australian handicappers to assist in their deliberations but is of the view that it will be several more years and that there will need to be a few structural changes in the methodology before the classifications can be appropriately used.
The group closely analysed the structure of metropolitan racing in Australia in terms of the various age, sex, and distance categories and noted, for example, the changing emphasis towards distaff races and shorter distances and away from 2-year old races and races of extended distances. They analyzed the current structure of Australian black type races listings in a similar way and established that there was little correlation between the metropolitan racing structure and the black type races structure. In other words, the changing metropolitan race structure is not reflected in the black type listings.
They will recommend to the Australian Racing Board that the entire black type listings be revised to reflect more accurately the overall race structure. This revision would have the potential to downgrade in status some races that have an iconic nature and to elevate some races that have increased in standard and stature in recent years.
The group has established a timetable to undertake the revision so that the recommended new listings will be in place for the 2004-2005 racing season.